I think I’ll start this blog with the best advice I’ve ever gotten as a mother.
Of course it came from my maternal Grandmother; the guru of grass stains, the master of macaroni and meat sauce, the expert of easter dinner- I think you get the point. After 7 children of her own, helping to raise over 20 grandchildren and 7 great -grandchildren, she was the matriarch of our family, teaching all of us the right way to raise our kids (if we took the advice or not, was our prerogative).
She can get a baby to stop crying, a toddler to eat their peas, and a child to stop jumping on the couch, all while dishing out love with a liberal hand, and barely raising her voice.
My daughter had just turned four years old, and we were at grandma’s house for a weekly Sunday visit. Kali had complained she was hungry, so I took out a can of Chef Boyardee. My grandmother took it out of my hand and got out a pot to warm it on the stove.
Now my child has said she was hungry before this and we still had to fight her to eat the food she ASKED for.
The raviolis and meatballs were warmed and in a nice pink plastic bowl in front of my daughter. She ate two bites, and decided she didn’t want to sit anymore, she wanted to go play!
I’m sure we’ve all been there as mothers, and that thought crosses our mind.
You said you were hungry, I went through all this trouble to make you lunch, you’re freaking eating it, if its the last thing I accomplish in my young life.
So naturally, she she smiles and sits down like an angel, crosses her legs and eats her food, in a reasonable amount of time like she’s told.
Baha, right. Well I can dream. Anyway, she puts up a fight and crosses her arms, obviously bored of eating. So at that point, we mothers try everything. The airplane, the choo choo train, the helicopter, the “I’ll take you to the pet store on the way home if you eat”, and some mothers even resort to “I’ll take you to Toys R us on the way home if you eat!” (I never got THAT far.)
My grandmother sat and watched while I whoooed and hawwed, trying everything to get this food into my child. When she finally saw the dismay in my eyes, she took over.
In 15 seconds flat, my daughter had two bites down and one on the hanger.
All she did was smile at my daughter and say “You’re a big girl, you don’t need mommy feeding you like a baby? Let’s see how you can eat ALL BY YOURSELF!!!” And if you saw her face, you’d crack up laughing. Her eyes were wide and she was smiling ear to ear. That’s what my grandmother does, she could make you excited to have your gallbladder removed, and that was her secret. She talks to you like you’re a puppy and you’re about to go for a walk!!!
Are you so excited!! Chef Boyardee! YUM!
“Stop doing things for your kids that they can damn well do for themselves.”
That was the last time I ever fed my daughter anything, and the point is she stopped expecting me to feed her.
What a thought, to train a kid like you would a puppy.
It sounds terrible, but its true. If your puppy barks and barks, and you give it a treat, what do you think it’ll do when it wants a treat? It’s gonna bark like crazy.The carry-over rule here? If your child screams and throws themselves on the floor in a tantrum in the store and you give her a Barbie doll to shut her up, did she learn her lesson? Or is her premature brain going to connect screaming and the fact that it got her a toy?
The moral of our story today, folks, is Grandma knows best, and let your kids do what they CAN do for themselves, or you’ll be feeding your 13 year olds their peas.